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Halo: Silent Storm

Written by: Troy Denning
Narrated by: Scott Brick
Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins
5 out of 5 stars (52 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An original full-length novel set in the Halo universe and based on the New York Times best-selling video game series. 

It's 2526. It has been almost a year since humanity engaged in its destructive first contact with a theocratic military alliance of alien races known as the Covenant. Now, the hostilities have led to open war, and the United Nations Space Command understands virtually nothing about its new enemy. There are only two certainties - the Covenant is determined to eradicate humanity, and they have the superior technology to do just that. The UNSC’s only hope lies with the Spartans: enhanced super-soldiers trained from childhood via a clandestine black-ops project to be living weapons. Their designated commander, Petty Officer John-117, has been assigned to lead the Spartans on a desperate counterattack designed to rock the Covenant back on its heels and to buy humanity the time it needs to gather intelligence and prepare its defenses. 

But not everyone wants the Spartans to succeed. A coalition of human rebel leaders believes an alliance with the Covenant to be its best hope of finally winning independence from the Unified Earth Government. To further their plans, the insurrectionists have dispatched a sleeper agent to sabotage the UNSC counterattack - and ensure that John-117 and the Spartans never return from battle....

©2018 Troy Denning (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Must read for Chief fans. 5 out of 5!

loved it read it up halo fans!
blue team kills it like always Kelly is the best!

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One of the best

8 hours nonstop. One of the best Halo novels ever! It got me through my day

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Way Better Than I Imagined

This book gives some much needed insight into the mind of John 117. A very interesting look at the early days of the human/covenant conflict. Tons of great action sequences and plenty of cunning subterfuge. A worthy Halo story.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing Halo novel.

This book is an absolute return to form. For anyone who is a fan of the original Halo novels or the Kilo Five trilogy; this will definitely tickle your fancy.

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Great for an action Sci-fi listen.

wonderful listen with a well thought out story. lots of action and great explanation. truly draws the listener into the world and allows them to feel the experiances of the characters. no need for previous knowledge of the Halo universe.

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great story

halo: silent storm. this hidden story of the master chiefs past missions is a great story.
#Audible1

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  • Tacitus
  • 2018-09-06

A rare gem

Halo is back.

Those are weighty words coming from me, after over ten years frustration, disappointment and occasional anger with the quality of Halo fiction since the departure of Eric Nylund and Joseph Staten. Despite the occasional decent entry every now and then, the Halo franchise has been overtaken more and more by mediocrity, laziness and half measures.

What I enjoy most with this novel, and Troy Denning's writing in general, is the sheer respect, care and enthusiasm shown for the source material. It never feels like he is writing just to cash in a paycheck, but that he actually respects this universe and characters, a respect that can really be felt all the way down in the "bones" of the story and how grounded it is in the mythology of Halo going all the way back to The Fall of Reach. Never does it feel like plot points are handwaved away; everything is given appropriate thought and a logical reason.

The characters have real motivations and drives and play of each other believably. Smart characters are actually written as smart. Military personnel actually act like military personnel. We took these things for granted in the early days of Halo, but over the years they've fallen to the wayside with a much more cartoonish, "anything goes" mentality becoming the norm.

The Master Chief is characterized perfectly as a still-inexperienced teenager, as he rightly should be. It's refreshing to see this character who's become almost as unto a god to some people both in-universe and out as one who still needs to learn and grow into his role. I especially appreciate the emphasis on teamwork, which calls back to Nylund, and how he really isn't this lone-wolf juggernaut many people see him as.

I generally enjoyed Blue Team and their mix of friendly banter and stone-cold professionalism, but I do wish the other members had gotten more to do in terms of their specialties and character traits; Kelly in particular seemed particularly underused in that regard, and I felt Fred came off as too "jokey" at times especially now that we didn't get to see his own POV. I did like how established Spartans from different media, like Daisy and Malcolm, were featured instead of creating new S-IIs to swell up their already bloated numbers.

The supporting cast was also excellent, and like Last Light and Retribution, Denning gives a lot of page time for non-Spartans as well. There's a considerable emphasis on Special Warfare politicking and the chain of command, which was enjoyable. Sergeant Johnson also has a surprise role, which is something I'm a bit conflicted about. I think he was characterized excellently, and making him into a mentor of sorts to John at this point in his life gives more weight to their relationship in Halo 2 and 3, but on the other hand it doesn't quite gel with how their relationship is depicted in The Fall of Reach and First Strike.

Some familiar faces from Last Light and Retribution also make appearances, which I think did get a bit excessive at times; while in general, references and callbacks are to be expected in a shared universe, having too many of the same characters in one place or one story can make the universe feel smaller. Fortunately, as in Retribution, this was somewhat offset by the number of new things and characters.

The Covenant antagonists, while not exactly revolutionary in terms of characterization, are still reasonably competent and distinct in their own right, and the little glimpses into the Covenant side of things added, for the most part, an interesting element to the book especially in comparison to the classic Nylund novels. The human insurrectionists' motivation, however, did seem more questionable in light of the context, and if there's one other complaint I have about the antagonists, the Covenant in general didn't feel quite as threatening as they probably should've at this point in the war, especially in regards to the conclusion.

I'm a worldbuilding freak myself, so you can imagine my delight with the fully-realized, well-textured universe-crafting of this book. The setting isn't just there for background flavor, it actually influences how the characters think and act, and how the events progress, which is the way it should be in a grounded science fiction narrative. The sense of scale is excellent; planets, for example, actually feel like big places, and even star systems and sectors of space seem to exist in clear relation to one another, which adds to the sense of place.

Furthermore, getting details on things like orbital mechanics, communication or deployment protocols, chains of command, or FTL travel may be dismissed as fluff by some but it really means a lot to fans like me who were originally drawn into Halo because of that attention to detail. I could go on and on about the subtleties I wouldn't have even thought of, which is what I always appreciate in a book, especially a Halo book in an era where bland non-specificity has become the norm.

Overall, Silent Storm is the kind of war-era story I've been expecting for the better part of ten years now: No lazy conflict over contrived Forerunner MacGuffins, using established S-II characters instead of making up new ones just to be killed, just a story about one mission in a war. I was at first wary with how this story retread old ground with its characters and setting, but having read the book it only serves to complement The Fall of Reach and actually adds a lot to the universe and characters. The cover promises a Master Chief story and this is pretty much at the peak of what you can do with that setup. Denning even manages to give John an arc here, despite the confines of the prequel setting (which I thought would make it impossible to do anything interesting with his character).

Are there some areas that could've been improved on? Definitely. However, Silent Storm is still leagues ahead of most other Halo material released these days, and fits right in with the classic novels.

As always, Scott Brick's narration is serviceable. His articulation is clear and his voice is pleasant enough to listen to. However, having had a taste of Steve Downes' narration in a promotional excerpt, I can only imagine how much the book would've benefited from his voice all the way through.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan
  • 2018-09-07

A return to form

I have been disappointed with the recent direction of the Halo novels. Silent Storm is a return to what made me fall in love with the series. Complex characters, and good old military sci-fi. Great read.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-11-29

Another fantastic entry to the series

Spoiler free....If you liked any of the chief centric books you'll like this. Great narration by scott brick. Gives some background to the chiefs past without being boring as it is a prequel. Great action, multiple points of view from human and covenant. My only regret is that they dont make games or DLCs out of these stories as they would be a hoot! I am a legacy halo fan having read every single book. With book 2 of the forerunner saga being my least favorite and of course fall of reach being my favorite. Hopefully we will get more snippets into the chiefs past with future books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Joseph D OLeary
  • 2018-11-01

Decent story rough performance

Scott Brick really needs to stop being the go-to for Halo books. You either get him and a monotone drone (new blood) or sounding like he is on the verge of crying for an entire book (hunters in the dark). That being said of all of the Halo books he has done this one is probably the best. It seems like he is trying a little for once. Please, if anyone from the publishing company is reading this, give some new folks a chance to get involved with the franchise and bring some variety to the people that enjoy listening to these books... That or bring back some of the folks that have given really good performances in the past like Todd McLaren, Jonathan Davis, Euan Mortan, Timothy Dadabo, Jennifer Taylor, Holter Graham, etc.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Ian Wheatley
  • 2019-07-16

Loved this

It reminded me of my all-time favorite Halo book, Halo: The Fall of Reach. Veterans of the Halo universe will know Eric Nylund and his works well. They are some of the most beloved novels in Halo canon. Well, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Halo: Silent Storm is every bit their equal. Troy Denning has expertly captured the personality of The Master Chief, which is harder than one might think. Silent Storm has everything a great Halo book needs: The Master Chief, tight military action, a blend of mystery and political intrigue, and Covenant uglies. Scott Brick does an excellent job as narrator!

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  • William
  • 2019-06-22

Great freaking book

Seargent Johnson and the master chief are in it will mornings to be said. it might be even better then the first books like the fall of reach or first strike and so on.

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  • James Askins
  • 2019-06-04

a great listen! early blue team is always good!

consistent action and thrill the whole way through, plus some learning moments of early John 117

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-05-24

Continuity problems

The story is a okay. Like seeing John again but the writer didn't care about continuity at all. It messes up things that happen in Fall of Reach, The Flood, and First Strike.

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  • Myrran Carter
  • 2019-05-19

Decent performance, frustrating writing.

The covenant side was great, but the author could have replaced blue team with any other SII team and it would have worked better. The writing on the human side just does not make enough sense and is poorly placed at times. the author seems to assume the reader is oblivious to the rest of the Halo universe.

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  • Selena
  • 2019-05-18

Good book. But butchers the Halo timeline.

Story was good and kept me enthralled throughout the story but most of the character used i.e brutes had not been introduced into the timeline until after Nylunds book FIRST STRIKE. Author needs to research Halo universe.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-01-20

un regal

premier libre audio , scott brick est un tres bon lecteur. il fait bien ressortir les intonations et les emotions des personnages

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  • Comeau-Montasse
  • 2018-09-29

The return of the Chief

This takes the second place in my top 10 Halo books, just behind The Fall of Reach (because it's the Lore core). We return at the begining of the Great War, when the covenants are truly terrifying and humanity must face total anihilation.
The writing style is excellent (special mention for the strategic brefings of each side), the story fills (partially) the biggest gap in the Halo chronology, and the narrator knows very well how to play each character.
Absolutely wonderful ! A must-have for the fans of the Chief.